You may have your eye on a brand new, state-of-the-art apartment building in the heart of a booming part of town, but as luck may have it, that apartment may not be the best apartment for you at this time. Before you sign a lease and commit to an apartment, there are three important items you must consider first: 1. Affordability, 2. Safety, and 3. Location. Here’s why these are the three most important considerations when finding the right first apartment for you.
Being able to afford rent is the key factor in apartment hunting. Just because you love an apartment doesn’t mean you can commit to it if you can’t afford the rent. Here’s why you must be able to afford the rent:
- Many landlords require you earn a certain amount of money – typically three times the monthly rent – before you can even sign a lease, which helps ensure you pay your rent in full and on time.
- If you can’t afford rent, you’ll only bring stress on yourself every time you worry about how you will pay your bills. You may also find yourself in a tight spot where you have to decide which bill to pay – rent or another important bill like groceries or insurance.
- If you start missing payments because you can’t afford your bills, you run the risk of damaging your credit score, which takes a long time to build back up. Lower credit score will end up costing you money in many ways in the future, for example, in higher car or other loan interest rates or higher insurance premiums. It may even impact on your ability to get a job you want.
- Ride by the apartment at different times on different days to check out the neighborhood.
- Notice the people in the area and how they interact with one another.
- Notice whether you see police officers patrolling the area.
- Notice the types of businesses in the area.
- Check out crime reports for the area and see what types, if any, crime has been reported.
- Google the address of any building you are considering, to see if any criminal or other type of concerning activity has been reported in the building.
We all know the saying that real estate is all about location, location, location. And the thing is this: finding the right apartment for you really focuses on location. Renting an apartment in a popular neighborhood might be ideal, but it may not be an option if you can’t afford the rent or the apartment’s waiting list is full. Consider these location tips:
- Try looking in a neighborhood close to your favorite neighborhood, preferably within walking distance, so you can still enjoy the same amenities such as restaurants, coffee shops, and shops.
- Try finding an apartment close to work to reduce your commute time and costs.
- Try finding an apartment close to activities you plan to frequent.
- Try finding an apartment close to family and friends.